George Watson, Theft > burglary, 13th April 1743.

Reference Number: t17430413-15
Offence: Theft > burglary
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

196. + George Watson of St Giles, in the Fields , was indicted for breaking and entering the Dwelling-House of Thomas Meckwold , about the Hour of Seven in the Night, with an Intent the Goods and Chattels of the said Thomas Meckwold to steal, take, and carry away , Feb. 24 .

Thomas Meckwold . I live in Great-Russel-Street , St. Giles's. I was absent from home when the Fact, for which the Prisoner is indicted, was committed; I was informed of it, and was directed to prosecute the Prisoner, he was rescued out of the Constable's Hands, but taken again and carried before Justice De Veil, and having the Character of belonging to a very flagitious Gang, the Colonel thought fit to have him committed - I do not know that I lost any Thing.

Elizabeth Smart . On the 24th of February, about Seven o'Clock in the Evening, I perceived that the Sash of the Parlour-Window, belonging to Mr Meckwold's House, which had been shut all Day, was open, and that the Blind, which had been up all Day, was down.

Eleanor Goddard . I am Fellow-Servant with the last Witness. On the 24th of February, about Seven o'Clock at Night, being in the Kitchen, I heard a Noise and went to see what was the Matter, and found that the Sash, which was close all Day long, was pushed up, and that the Blind was down.

Thomas Simmonds . I am a Lodger opposite to Mr Meckwold's House, and about Seven o'Clock at Night, or rather after, on the 24th of February, being disposed in a lazy sort of a Condition, I was looking out of the Window (the Moon shone bright on that Side of the Way, and I could see as well as if it was Day) and I saw George Watson and another consulting together and looking hard at Mr Meckwold's Window; (the Sash being then up) my Wife was in the Room with me, said I, My Dear, I believe here are two young Men who want to get into Mr Meckwold's House; they both went up to the Door and set their Shoulders against it, and gave a Shove, then went about ten Doors farther to another Door, and there they stood consulting again for some Time; at last, when the People were not in such a Hurry in passing and repassing, the Prisoner left his Companion and came to this Window again, and looked at it very hard; there was a Woman coming along, he met her and then turned back, and as soon as the Woman was passed him, (for there was no Body else in the Street, passing or repassing) he jumps on the Rail before the Window, and put his Hand over and took down the Blind - the Sash was up so high that you might put your Hand over the Blind - there was Room for a Hand to go in, and that was all; my Wife bid me open the Window and call out; No, said I, I do not think that so well, I will go down and take him in the House; said I to a Journyman, who works in the same House with me, There's a Man in the House over the Way, let us go and secure him: I went down Stairs, and as soon as I had opened the Door, the Prisoner at the Bar jumped out of the Window, over the Rail, and came on our Side of the Way; he ran by me, said I to the young Man, who was with me, Richard, lay hold of him, and Richard laid hold of him directly; as soon as he had laid hold of him, there were two Men on our Side of the Way (tho' I saw but one before) and they run upon us almost ready to devour us, Richard was surprised, and I too, but they went off, and we saw no more of them; said I to Richard, This is the Man that I saw at the Window, I am sure of it, so we charged a Constable with him, and took him to the Round-house; - I am sure the Prisoner is the Man.

Sarah Simmonds . I saw the Prisoner at Mr Meckwold's Window, on the 24th of February, about Seven o'Clock in the Evening; he met a Woman and immediately turned about, and as soon as she was past, he jumped up to the Rail, took down the Blind of the Window and put his Head and Arms in at the Window; my Husband went down Stairs directly in order to catch him, and just as he was going out at the Door, the Prisoner jumped off the Rail and crossed to our Side of the Way, to our Door. - I am sure he is the Man that put his Head and Arms into Mr Meckwold's House.

John Cooke . I was trimming the Gentleman's Lamp; I saw the Prisoner loitering about, and saw his Hand upon the Window, and he was coming out over the Rail; I did not suspect him at first, for I took him to be a Servant to the Gentleman, and therefore did not stop him; I heard he was taken afterwards. - I saw him coming out of the Window as well as I see him at the Bar now.

Richard Glover . I was sent for to take Charge of the Prisoner; I asked what was the Matter; they said, he had endeavoured to rob the Gentleman's House; as I was following the Person who was carrying him to the Round-house, out comes a Man with a drawn Cutlass, and threatened to strike at the Man who had hold of him, and said, Loose him, and when he said that, I whipp'd out my Truncheon to defend my Head, and the Prisoner and he ran away, one took to one Side of

the Church, and the other to the other Side; however, I pursued the Prisoner, and cried out, Stop Thief, and he turned up Manmouth-Street; there was a young Man got up with him and took hold of him, and they were tumbling one upon the other when I got up with him and took him again.

Q. to Elizabeth Smart . How is this Blind fastened?

Smart. The Blind is fastened with a little Bolt which shoots into the Frame of the Window.

Q. Are you sure it was bolted at Seven o'Clock?

Smart. I am sure it was bolted at that Time - I am sure it was bolted all Day; I am very sensible the Prisoner opened it; my Lady and my Master went out, and I am sure neither of them went into the Parlour; I bolted it in the Morning, and I think I can safely say it was bolted all Day, because there was no Body to open it, unless I had unbolted it myself.

Q. to Mr. Meckwold. Was there any Thing lost or moved?

Mr Meckwold. I found a Tea-Chest moved out of its Place, but there was nothing taken away.

Prisoner. Ask them if I got into the House at all?

Thomas Simmonds . He was as far in as his Breast, Arms and his Head, so as that he might reach the Ground with his Hand.

Sarah Simmonds . His Arms and Head and Shoulders were in, he reached down and: put the Blind upon the Ground.

Eleanor Goddard was called again, and asked, Whether the Blind was fixed to the Sash?

Goddard. The Sash and the Blind are different Things; the Blind is fixed, and the Sash may be pushed up, and the Blind remain fixed; the Blind is fastened with a Bolt, which is on the Top of the Blind, and goes into the Side of the Frame of the Window.

Q. The Question is, Whether, when he pushed the Sash up, the Blind must not fall down.

Goddard. It cannot fall by the lifting up of the Sash; but it stood safe against the Side of the Window.

Q. If the Blind had fell down, whether you must not have heard it?

Goddard. I believe we might, but it stood very safe by the Side of the Window.

Simmonds. He jump'd up on the Rail; he laid one Hand upon the Frame of the Window, and the other Hand was upon the Top of the Blind, then he too k the Blind down with his Hand and made a Reach, and lay over the Window as if he was going to see the Blind down upon the Ground Guilty , Death .


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